Regional Transportation a Bane

For as long as BU has been around there has been concern expressed about the shamble state of travel in the region. The HoGs are quick to remind us CARICOM/CSME is contingent on free movement of people. To be fair, some progress has been made by amending entry requirements to allow citizens from member states to visit for leisure and work, however, facilitating physical movement whether by air or sea remains a hindrance. The financial weight and mismanagement of LIAT finally caused it to crash. Today the region is without a viable and dependable means of regional transport for people and cargo.

It was interesting to listen to Minister of Tourism uttering words this week about a “high-level- vision for Barbados’ tourism sector with special mention the role of aviation. There is talk about creating a Barbados Aviation Centre of Excellence leading to Barbados being a cargo hub along with repair maintenance and other related activities. The eye opener was when she mentioned of a vision to establish a regional carrier using Singapore Airlines as a model. It goes without saying Barbados will have to push to acquire CAT 1 designation, something BU has posted on for many years. Without CAT 1 designation an airline based in Barbados would not be able to acquire permissions to land in US and other key countries important to flying important air routes. 

The blogmaster agrees conceptually Barbados and regional governments must do a better job to smooth the environment to encourage transportation solutions from private sector. With the demise of LIAT it has brought the matter to a head and there must be a sense of urgency IF the HoGs are committed to a working common market. Maybe the leadership of CARICOM lacks the vision to mirror the OECS who has demonstrated the benefits of a working union. It is ironic the OECS are members of umbrella group CARICOM. The attraction of being a big fish in a small pond continues to feed the megalomania of leaders in the region.

In the OECS ferry services have been used as a transportation option for years. Why has the region been unable to enhance the model to include other countries with a view to create a viable sea transportation option? It is 2022 and what can be honestly stated about the state of regional travel?

Here is a perspective from BU family member Artax:

After the demise of the ‘Windward,’ which used to sail between BGI and SLU…… BGI and SVG, ‘every other week,’ there has been several discussions about a ferry service that would include other regional territories.

In 2018, the World Bank recommended a ferry service that would transport people, vehicles and goods from North to the South of the Caribbean, after completing a preliminary study.
The Bank was also recommended private sector participation be sought in developing the ferry service.

In August 2016, the Daily Nation reported ,that a company registered in Barbados called, ‘Caribbean Ferry Service,’ was in the process of finalising paperwork to operate two vessels, ‘The Dream Jet Express’ and ‘The Opal Jet Express,’ for travel and cargo through the region,
The service was supposed to be initially accessible to passengers from BGI, SVG and SLU. And, eventually, other islands would’ve been added to the itinerary.

I can understand ferry services between Antigua and Montserrat; St. Lucia and Martinique; St. Maarten, Saba and St. Eustatius; Dominica and Guadeloupe…… because those islands are in close proximity to each other.

However, I question the viability of operating a service between Barbados and Anguilla, for example. Or, from Trinidad to Jamaica.


The George Brathwaite Column – CSME: Benefits for the People

“Since the CSME was inaugurated here in Jamaica 12 years ago, we all agree that much has been accomplished under its regimes. But we have not achieved as much as we should have by now. Major policy decisions and adoption of legal instruments take much too long to be negotiated. We must do more and do it more quickly. The success of the CSME is being judged, by the public, on the basis of our implementation of the measures agreed to, that allow our citizens and businesses to benefit.” (CARICOM Secretary General, Ambassador Irwin LaRocque, at Opening of 39th Meeting, Conference of Heads of Government of CARICOM, Jamaica, July 4th, 2018)

The Conference of the Heads of Government took centre stage in Montego Bay, Jamaica. Thousands of eyes were not only on the colourful setting, but on the flamboyant smile of Barbados’ newest leader and first female prime minister. Several important agenda items were discussed; commitments were made that are sure to have deeper implications for the Community’s secretariat and its member states. Ambassador LaRocque’s assessment prefacing this article is more than a mouthful; it seemed a call for urgent action.

Significant, was Barbados’ purposeful and energetic input that would summon other leaders to close the existing gaps between the people’s lived realities and the customary side-stepping. It is those types of posturing that have together produced the wide implementation deficit across the region, thereby denying citizens and businesses deserved benefits. Prime Minister Mia Mottley could hardly have stated truer words when in her unassuming way she charged that “political leadership must facilitate and shepherd, not control and stifle. Straight out of the box, the leaders of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) were reminded that it is the region’s people who ought to matter most in policy formulation and delivery.

Within the context of integrated development and the mechanisms affecting the populations of these small countries, Prime Minister Mottley was able to let flow her love, her ideas, and her dedication for wanting to improve the livelihoods of people. While admitting leadership delinquency and tardiness, Miss Mottley suggested that not much had changed or had gone forward over the last 10 years, and that old territorial fears persisted.

Nonetheless, the freshness of Prime Minister Mottley’s speech, although reflective in some areas, channelled the memories of the pioneers of the Caribbean’s regional integration movement. The freedom to think and to explore possibilities that would enhance the region captured the imagination of the listening audience across the CARICOM. Surely, Miss Mottley’s speech could be summed up as a quest to fight for a regionalism in which freedom and opportunity would coexist as a practicality rather than as a convenient posture. This writer, while assessing Miss Mottley’s inaugural remarks to the Conference of CARICOM Heads, recalled Nelson Mandella – the former President of post-apartheid South Africacontending that: “For to be free is not merely to cast off one’s chains, but to live in a way that respects and enhances the freedom of others.”

Prime Minister Mottley, by invoking the name of one of Barbados’ National Heroes – the Right Excellent Errol Barrow also took to embracing the true vitality of the Caribbean region. PM Mottley ably asserted Barrow’s bold and undeniable claim that: “the regional integration movement is a fact of daily experience. It is a reality which is lived but which we have not yet been able to institutionalise.” What followed from that point of mindful linkage between formal policies and the formalities affecting people were Miss Mottley’s sharing of genuine will and determination to fix the slack that obtained under her predecessor regarding the Caribbean Single Market and Economy.

Indeed, and as if to inspire the leaders and to give credence to the voices of the people, PM Mottley challenged the Conference of Heads to “give our people the scope to express their natural inclination of togetherness and inclusion in ways that are productive and beneficial to the region.” Miss Mottley touched on the need for the region to increase on its wide and varying sectoral successes. She wittingly and excitedly went from the need for sharing information to building resources and resilience; she aptly spoke of the freedom to turn away from prohibitive regulation to embracing a facilitative regimen inclusive of capable transportation enhancements.

Additionally, the Barbadian leader was adamant on the essentiality of giving vital and productive expression to the region’s youth through the global and technological highways. Her insistence was for renewed vigour regarding investment flows and cross-border partnerships among Caribbean people and entities. Miss Mottley’s presence and intervention symbolised precisely the things for educating, informing, and motivating the region’s people.

Mia Mottley courted challenge confidently and put her intent into the open arena of CARICOM. She advocated for the expansion of opportunities for Caribbean people advising that it is responsible and prudent to address issues on the process to verify Certificates of Recognition of CARICOM Skills Qualification. Mottley bemoaned the length of time and the discouragement that became part of the process for accreditation and verification. She noted that in this contemporary age of technological advancements and digital communications, it is regrettable that the regional labour market should be saddled with mechanisms which were more handicap than optimal for the people. Miss Mottley advocated that “we must be able to do better at real-time communication, particularly as we go forward in the issuance of skills certificates and diplomas that will allow for more ease of verification.”

On the urging of things that would have occurred in Barbados, Miss Mottley was unafraid but forthright in putting the issue of contingent rights to be a matter deserving resolve. Questions still are being asked why is it that CARICOM citizens working and paying taxes like Barbadians in Barbados, and being allowed to vote, cannot access similar or certainly reasonable healthcare or other social services without attracting extra user fees? The fact is and has been documented by this writer, ‘without contingent rights, intra-regional migrant labour and the practicality of freedom of movement for categories of workers become hollow and discouraging’.

The fact that Miss Mottley is proactive after seeing the need to remove the discriminatory practice of less than satisfactory treatment to CARICOM’s immigrant workers and their dependants in Barbados, augurs well. The region can start being progressive in public policy while ironing out any difficulties that may exist in regional affairs. Thus, the following countries must be commended for their willingness to sign the protocol addressing the problematic feature of contingent rights. The countries are: Barbados, Grenada, Haiti, Jamaica, St Lucia, St Vincent and the Grenadines, and Suriname.

On a final note, congratulations and best wishes are for attorney and political activist David Comissiong on his appointment by Prime Minister Mottley as Barbados’ Ambassador to CARICOM. Hardly anyone would deny Mr. Comissiong’s knowledge and activities that are supportive of Caribbean civilization and the need for deeper functional cooperation among CARICOM’s member states. Comissiong’s intent, however, has similarly been misconstrued based on perceptions of his ideology. Ambassador Comissiong’s rejection of hegemonic behaviour and his strong preference for resilience to the encroachment of foreign political and economic forces should help to reinforce the view that in the region, unity and survival are important for the type of integrated development which benefits the region’s people. Barbados can be a pivotal actor in making CARICOM work for the prosperity of all the Caribbean people.

(Dr George C. Brathwaite is a part-time lecturer at the University of the West Indies, Cave Hill Campus, and a political consultant.   Email:

Influx of ‘foreigners’ Changing the Region

sexworkersThe following is an extract from a Yahoo T&T Group Forum BU is a member. It details a commentary on the rise across the Caribbean. In fact, a flavour of the commentary is playing out in the EU exacerbated by the refugee crisis. The old question is one the regionalist – and the ideologues – cannot ignore, the commitment by sovereigns to managing borders and ensuring quality of life for ‘locals’ by unbridled entry of people whether from the region or outside. It is unfortunate the most endowed economies in Caricom for example are responsible for exporting the most people to the other islands. Of concern is that many of the emigrants are unskilled and operate in the ‘exotic industry’. The Chinese have been effective in tagging Chinese labour to concessionary loans to beggar governments, the result, a growing local Chinese population.

Ordinarily people of the region should feel confident in the political leadership to guide our open societies through an uncertain period. It appears to BU we are currently being washed along in a current to nowhere. Those of us who express concern at the state of affairs are labelled as being xenophobic and jingoistic. Have we found those Nigerians who vanished a few years ago?

Apparently, only the Ministry of National Security and maybe some in government are not aware of the massive influx of Venezuelans and people of other nationalities into T&T (see Inshan’s FB post & Robin Montano’s blog post below). We all know of the Chinese invasion that continues unabated, with people who cannot speak English  and with apparently no resources, who land here today and tomorrow they are up and running businesses, with their work permit, nationalization papers, and staff. CASH is king so they want Cash, no credit card and lynx etc, except in rare cases. Why? you really don’t know why? And, if not collecting taxes, VAT etc from them are not enough, there is tremendous leakage of forex for remittances to their families etc. All this cannot happen unless some in authority are on the take.  Why is this allow to continue?

The government must immediately ramp up border patrols, interdiction, scanning at ports and points of entry, random patrols in coastal areas,  and do all we can to stop the flow of drugs, guns, and people into T&T.

Crime is reaching astronomical levels, gangs are roaming everywhere, murders are on the rise, tens of thousands of illegals are swamping the systems and resources of T&T and we behave as if it is hunky dory and all is well.  Things are getting worse in Venezuela with power cuts for much of the day in many areas, basic supplies running out and violence increasing. People are desperately trying to get out of that land or coming to T&T to trade, barters etc (what do you think they bring to barter & trade?). The easy availability of guns is the major reason for crime. Let’s tackle this problem, now, as a matter of national urgency. If  the current Ministers of National Security cannot do the job then the Prime Minister has to step in, maybe take control of that Ministry, manage & supervise the Ministers… or get people who can do a better job there.

Inshan S Ishmael

1 hr ·


I would like to place on Public record that if Immigration don’t get off their backsides and do something to stem the flow of Illegal Immigrants from Guyana, Grenada, Jamaica, Nigeria, China, India, venezuela, Jamaica and other Countries we will reap the whirlwind.. In fact it has already started….I was told by inside sources that over 50,000 Venezuelans have already landed….The laws MUST be changed, anyone providing accommodation to an Illegal Immigrant must be held accountable and charged..$ 100,000 minimum.

Case for a Federation

Submitted by The Barbados Lobby

Former Prime Minister Owen Arthur Mr. Arthur’s recent view that the CSME needs to be scrapped

Former Prime Minister Owen Arthur Mr. Arthur’s recent view that the CSME needs to be scrapped …

A few days ago in his column, Craig Harewood wrote an article entitled “How to get reparations for dummies.” He had a brilliant idea that instead of asking for reparations that the Caribbean Community

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Compiled by the Department of Management Studies, UWI, Cave Hill

Compiled by the Department of Management Studies, UWI, Cave Hill


There were a number of listings and De-Listings across the regional exchanges in 2012. On the Bahamas International Securities Exchange, Arawak Port Development was listed on April 23 2012. In Guyana, Rupununi Development Company Limited was listed on March 19 2012. In Jamaica, First Caribbean International Bank Jamaica, First Jamaica Investments Limited, Montego Freeport and Pegasus Hotels were De-listed, while on the main market Proven Investments was listed, and, Consolidated Bakeries, Paramount Trading Jamaica, C2W Music Limited and K. L.E. Group Limited were listed on the Junior Market. Supreme Ventures was De-listed from the Trinidad and Tobago Stock Exchange.

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WEEKLY CARICOM STOCK REPORT 3 December to 7 December 2012

Compiled by the Department of Management Studies, UWI, Cave Hill

Compiled by the Department of Management Studies, UWI, Cave Hill

Keep It Simple.
Keeping it simple in investing is not stupid. Seventeenth-century philosopher Blaise Pascal once said, “All man’s miseries derive from not being able to sit quietly in a room alone.” This aptly describes the investing process. Those who trade too often, focus on irrelevant data points, or try to predict the unpredictable are likely to encounter some unpleasant surprises when investing. By keeping it simple–focusing on companies with economic moats, requiring a margin of safety when buying, and investing with a long-term horizon–you can greatly enhance your odds of success.


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WEEKLY CARICOM STOCK REPORT 12 November to 16 November 2012

Compiled by the Department of Management Studies, UWI Cave Hill

Listen to Your Gut.
Any valuation model you may create for a company is only as good as the assumptions about the future that are put into it. If the output of a model does not make sense, then it’s worthwhile to double-check your projections and calculations. Use DCF valuation models (or any other valuation models) as guides, not oracles.

Know Your Friends, and Your Enemies.
What’s the short interest in a stock you are interested in? What mutual funds own the company, and what is the record of those fund managers? Does company management have “skin in the game” via a meaningful ownership stake? Have company insiders been selling or buying? At the margin, these are valuable pieces of collateral evidence for your investment thesis on a company.

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WEEKLY CARICOM STOCK REPORT 5 November to 9 November 2012

Compiled by the Department of Management Studies, UWI Cave Hill

Prepare for the Situation to Proceed Faster than You Think.
Most deteriorating businesses will do so faster than you anticipate. Be very wary of value traps, or companies that look cheap but are generating little or no economic value. On the other hand, strong businesses with solid competitive advantages will often exceed your expectations. Have a very wide margin of safety with a troubled business, but do not be afraid to have a much smaller margin of safety for a wonderful business with a shareholder-friendly management team.

 Expect Surprises to Repeat
The first big positive surprise from a company is unlikely to be the last. Ditto the first big negative surprise. Remember the “cockroach theory.” Namely, the first cockroach you see is probably not the only one around; there are likely scores more that you can’t see.

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CARIBBEAN STOCK REPORT 22 October to 26 October 2012

Compiled by the Department of Management Studies, UWI Cave Hill – Click image to read in PDF

Solid gains on manufacturing stocks drove the major Caribbean indices higher during the week ended October 26. For the week, 3,963,727 shares valued at $4,418,471 crossed the floors of the six stock exchanges across Caricom, with 43 stocks advancing, 36 declining and 44 remaining unchanged. Caribbean Producers was the volume leader with 719,093 shares being traded, Ciboney posted the largest gain for the week (12.32%), while on the losing end, Caribbean Cement fell (10.16%).

For the week, thirteen of the CSX 30 stocks advanced, eleven declined and six were unchanged. The CSX 30 gained 2.79 points to close the week at 1,404.27, up 6.79% year to date. In the CSX 30 there were gains for Wibisco (5.47%), Mayberry (3.17%) and scotia Group Jamaica (1.59%). On the negative side, Caribbean Cement fell (10.16%), NCB Jamaica (6.08%),CW Jamaica (4.78%), Guardian Holdings (3.68%), Desnoe & Geddes (2.12%) and Grace Kennedy (1.17%).

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WEEKLY CARICOM STOCK REPORT 24 September to 28 September 2012

Compiled by the Department of Management Studies, UWI Cave Hill

The weakness in Caribbean stock in 2012 continued as the major indices ended the week of September 28 lower.  The major indices were dragged down by losses on manufacturing and financial companies, however, there was some respite for investors on the Junior markets as that index ended the week in positive territory.  For the week,  22,767,153 shares  valued at $6,298,829 crossed the floors of the six stock exchanges across Caricom, with 22 stocks advancing,  59 declining and 43 remaining  unchanged.  JMMB was again the volume leader with 14,556,430 shares being traded, C&W Jamaica posted the largest gain for the week (9.56%), while on the losing end, Bank of Nevis fell (23.53%).

For the week, six of the CSX 30 stocks advanced,  seventeen declined and seven were unchanged.  The CSX 30 lost 1.98 points to close the week at 1,388.18, up 5.57% year to date.    In the CSX 30 there were gains for CW Jamaica (9.56%), Carreras (1.26%) and Scotia Bank TT (1.01%).  On the negative side, Desnoe & Geddes fell (6.53%), Guardian Holdings (3.13%), Scotia Group Jamaica (1.73%) and Lascelles (1.28%).

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WEEKLY CARICOM STOCK REPORT 17 September to 21 September 2012

Compiled by the Department of Management Studies, UWI Cave Hill – Click image to read in PDF

The recent rally on Caribbean stock markets was brought to an abrupt end as Caribbean stocks ended the week of September 21 lower. The major indices were dragged down by losses on financial companies. For the week, 20,196,651 shares valued at $7,156,122 crossed the floors of the six stock exchanges across Caricom, with 40 stocks advancing, 42 declining and 42 remaining unchanged. JMMB was the volume leader with 4,952,245 shares being traded, Lasco Financial posted the largest gain for the week (16.60%), while on the losing end, Caribbean Cement Producers fell (15.30%).
For the week, twelve of the CSX 30 stocks advanced, twelve declined and six were unchanged. The CSX 30 lost 3.63 points to close the week at 1,390.16, up 5.72% year to date. In the CSX 30 there were gains for Desnoe & Geddes (9.50%), Mayberry (1.59%) and Lascelles (1.38%). On the negative side, Caribbean Cement fell (15.30%), Banks DIH (9.21%), CW Jamaica (8.55%), Guardian Holdings (3.46%), Scotia Group Jamaica (2.77%), and NCB Jamaica (2.34%).

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WEEKLY CARICOM STOCK REPORT 3 September to 7 September 2012

Compiled by the Department of Management Studies, UWI

Solid gains on Conglomerate, Manufacturing and Banking stocks saw the CSX 30 extend its rally from last week and end the week higher, while the Junior Market returned to negative territory. For the week, 8,325,163 shares valued at $3,230,566 crossed the floors of the six stock exchanges across Caricom, with 41 stocks advancing, 39 declining and 44 remaining unchanged. Jamaica Money Market Brokers was again the volume leader with 1,284,631 shares being traded, Lascelles posted the largest gain for the week (32.69%), while on the losing end, Lasco Manufacturing fell (8.00%).

For the week, fourteen of the CSX 30 stocks advanced, ten declined and six were unchanged. The CSX 30 gained 23.83 points to close the week at 1,386.46, up 5.43% year to date. In the CSX 30 there were gains for Lascelles (32.69%), Scotia Group Jamaica (6.48%), CW Jamaica (4.54%), Desnoe & Geddes (3.94%), Grace Kennedy (3.72%), Republic Bank (2.37%), Ansa Mcal (1.44%) and NCB Jamaica (1.13%) and Neal & Massey (1.09%).

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WEEKLY CARICOM STOCK REPORT 27 August to 31 August 2012

Compiled by the Department of Management Studies, UWI

A broad based rally across most sectors, saw the major Caribbean Indices end the week of August 31 higher. For the week, 13,600,340 shares valued at $3,390,466 crossed the floors of the six stock exchanges across Caricom, with 53 stocks advancing, 29 declining and 42 remaining unchanged. Jamaica Money Market Brokers was the volume leader with 3,358,996 shares being traded, Ciboney posted the largest gain for the week (49.94%), while on the losing end, Honey Bun fell (19.22%).

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WEEKLY CARICOM STOCK REPORT 20 August to 24 August 2012

Compiled by the Department of Management Studies, UWI Cave Hill – Click image to read in PDF

Losses on Retail and Distribution stocks resulted in the CSX 30 ending the week of August 24 lower, and the misery on the Junior Market increased further. For the week 14,152,805 valued at $2,828,445 crossed the floors of the six stock exchanges across Caricom, with 22 stocks advancing, 60 declining and 42 remaining unchanged. Sagicor Life was the volume leader with 6,282,718 shares being traded, Gleaner posted the largest gain for the week (9.26%), while on the losing end, Pulse fell (21.47%).

For the week, eleven of the CSX 30 stocks advanced, thirteen declined and six were unchanged. The CSX 30 lost 1.13 points to close the week at 1,352.05, up 2.82% year to date. In the CSX 30 there were gains for Gleaner (9.26%), Guardian Holdings (2.54%), Desnoe & Geddes (2.45%), Caribbean Cement (1.93%) and NCB Jamaica (1.29%). On the losing end Grace Kennedy (6.58%), CW Jamaica (4.40%), Scotia Group Jamaica (3.63%), Carreras (3.59%) and Sagicor (1.26%).

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Compiled by the Department of Management Studies, UWI Cave Hill – Click image to read in PDF

Caribbean stocks enjoyed one of their better weeks for the year, but there was continued weakness on the Junior market as those stocks appear to be in the throes of a major correction after the outstanding gains of 2011, as well as continued weakness in Tourism & Real Estate stocks.  For the week 53,071,332 valued at $2,972,824 crossed the floors of the six stock exchanges across Caricom, with 47 stocks advancing,  32 declining and 45 remaining  unchanged.  Cable & Wireless Jamaica was the volume leader with 46, 087,467 shares being traded, Cable & Wireless Jamaica posted the largest gain for the week (14.88%),  while on the losing end, Gleaner fell (19.71%).

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WEEKLY CARICOM STOCK REPORT 16 July to 20 July, 2012

Compiled by the Department of Management Studies, UWI Cave Hill – Click image to read in PDF

Caribbean stocks had a mixed week, with a slight recovery in Conglomerate and Manufacturing Stocks and on the Junior Market, but there were continued losses on Insurance & Investments, Retail & Distribution and Tourism & Real Estate stocks. For the week 9,722,924 shares valued at $2,002,556 crossed the floors of the six stock exchanges across Caricom, with 26 stocks advancing, 49 declining and 49 remaining unchanged. Blue Power was the volume leader with 2,528,350 shares being traded, Gleaner posted the largest gain for the week (15.36%), while on the losing end, Bahams Waste Management fell (9.88%).


CARIBBEAN STOCK REPORT 2 July to 6 July, 2012

Compiled by the Department of Management Studies, UWI Cave Hill – Click image to read in PDF

Solid performances by Banking stocks and a recovery on the Junior Market saw the major stock indices in Caricom close the week higher. For the week 7,264,517 shares valued at $3,259,394 crossed the floors of the six stock exchanges across Caricom, with 24 stocks advancing, 57 declining and 43 remaining unchanged. Gleaner was the volume leader with 3,065,553 shares being traded, Scotia Group Jamaica posted the largest gain for the week (9.61%), while on the losing end, Pulse Investments fell (23.11%).



Compiled by the Department of Management Studies, UWI Cave Hill – Click image to read in PDF

The misery returned for Caribbean investors as the major indices closing the week lower, after a slight rally last week. For the week 13,785,256 shares valued at $3,594,016 crossed the floors of the six stock exchanges across Caricom, with 22 stocks advancing, 62 declining and 40 remaining unchanged. Cable & Wireless Jamaica was the volume leader with 3,943,101 shares being traded, Pulse Investments posted the largest gain for the week (31.73%), while on the losing end, Caribbean Producers fell (10.56%).


Compiled by the Department of Management Studies, UWI Cave Hill – Click image to read in PDF

Caribbean stocks offered investors some slight relief from the losses for the year, as they staged a slight rally with the major indices closing the week higher.  For the week 67,875,289 shares valued at $8,430,562 crossed the floors of the six stock exchanges across Caricom, with 61 stocks advancing,  20 declining and 44 remaining  unchanged.  Cable & Wireless Jamaica was the volume leader with 32,431,616 shares being traded, Banks DIH posted the largest gain for the week (10.86%),  while on the losing end, Ciboney fell 49.90%.

For the week, seventeen of the CSX 30 stocks advanced,  eight declined and five were unchanged.  The CSX 30 gained 1.67 points to close the week at 1,308.38, down 0.50% year to date.    In the CSX 30 there were gains for Banks DIH (10.86%), C&W Jamaica (6.29%), Citizens Bank (5.21%), Caribbean Cement (3.67%), Mayberry (1.45%), Agostini’s (1.20%)  and Carreras (1.03%).  On the losing end Gleaner fell (5.79%), National Enterprises (2.47%), NCB Jamaica (1.92%), JMMB (1.79%) and Scotia Group Jamaica (1.46%).


CARIBBEAN STOCK REPORT 21 May to 25 May 2012

Compiled by the Department of Management Studies, UWI Cave Hill – Click image to read in PDF

Minister of Agriculture David Estwick shouted his frustration while addressing stakeholders at the Savannah Hotel who participate in the National Consultation on the White Paper for Agriculture. He believed that successive governments, including the current government has not taken agriculture seriously.

The comfort level of previous governments to drive Barbados on the back of services has prevented the economy from absorbing shocks precipitated by global recessions. He had concerns about the economies of the EU and the United States of America and likely impacts on Barbados if we maintain a current state.

Related Link: Agriculture at a standstill

Barbados Sold!

Sir Allan Fields presided over the disposal of Barbados only conglomerate BS&T to T&T interest

The recent uproar created by Sir Roy Trotman  calling out of Diamond’s International Managing Director Jacob Hassid as the Egyptian Jew, has pierced the veneer which cloaks a simmering racial tension in Barbados. What we have is a dominant Black host population which has tolerated a relationship with the White population for years, the dominant minority group. It must be recognised that Whites enjoy a disproportionate economic influence which many readily admit extends to the political sphere in the form of White Shadows. The other ethnic groups have respected their minority roles.

In recent years BU has painted a concern about the affect the dismantling of the Barbados Model continues to impact our society. In the last decade another variable has had to be factored, the hegemony of Trinidad business. The unwillingness of successive governments and Barbadians to react to the aggressive acquisition of Barbados Assets does not augur well for a once proud people who exuded pride by being firm craftsmen of their fate.

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CARIBBEAN STOCK REPORT 14 May to 18 May 2011 – European Union Expects To Sink Into Recession In 2012

Compiled by the Department of Management Studies, UWI Cave Hill – Click image to read in PDF

The European Union (EU) expects to sink into another recession in 2012. Against the background of the PIGS with Greece currently labouring on the brink of economic disaster with threats to be booted out of the EU and Spain about to follow, what does 2012 portend for the UK where rising unemployment is rampant?

Of particular concern for Barbados and other small islands in the English speaking Caribbean, this cannot be good news. In the case of Barbados the UK is a key tourism market and significant foreign direct investment originates. A flagging UK and EU market is not good news.

A reasonable question is what alternative investment opportunity does the regional equity market offer as a risk mitigating strategy.

Crisis Of Confidence In Listed Companies – WEEKLY CARICOM STOCK REPORT 16 April to 20 April 2012

Compiled by the Department of Management Studies, UWI - Click image to read in PDF

The news that Barbados Dairy Industries Limited (BDIL) has delisted from the Barbados Stock Exchange (BSE) followed by confirmation from the Chairman of Banks Holdings Limited (BHL) Sir Allan Fields that BHL board will be discussing a similar option is not good news for the local investment climate. To state that the Barbados investment climate from inception of the BSE has never been bullish would be an understatement. The delistings will not help to improve the current state. The fact that there has not been any significant interest shown by Barbadians in the traditional and social media is confirmation that the profile of the Barbadian investor does not factor stocks in their investment portfolio.

How should the Barbados authorities who want to develop a financial market with rich options for Barbadians respond? It has become a head scratching exercise. How can we blame non Barbadians for buying out Bajan companies when the locals have demonstrated over time there is no appetite to invest in equities?

REDjet’s Demise + LIAT’s Haemorrhaging = Regional Transportation In Crisis

His Excellency Desi Bouterse, President of Suriname, Chairman of Caricom

Redjet as still not paid its staff .The last time they were paid was February 2012.They will not have any pilots if they come back,because most of the pilots are looking jobs.Also they still have not paid some of there pilots who had left from last year.


The notes to support this blog were done in December, 2011 and given the demise of REDjet have taken on relevance. Columnist and committed regionalist Sir Ronald Saunders wrote an article a few months ago which probed the current state of LIAT and anticipated what its failure would mean for the region. Over the years there has been the fixation with movement of people and not the concomitant interest in regional air travel and financial settlement to support trade. Implementing one of the three at the expense of the other will always be an exercise in futility for those who want a more integrated region..

LIAT over the years has become synonymous with problems. Sir Ronald’s article paints a gloomy picture for LIAT by making bold that LIAT will collapse if shareholder governments are not prepared to implement required changes in short order. Prime Minister of St. Vincent Ralph Gonzales, who is Caricom’s lead spokesman for transportation along with Barbados, the largest shareholder, have hinted the number of shareholders will be increasing by two. Has there been an update on this matter?

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CARIBBEAN STOCK REPORT 19 March to 23 March 2011

The following is a comment which BU posted in April 2011 and remains relevant today. What can Barbados do to mobilize interest in the local Barbados Stock Exchange (BSE)?

Compiled by the Department of Management Studies, UWI Cave Hill - Click image to read in PDF

The decision by the Department of Management Studies of the University of the West Indies to compile the Caribbean Stock Report is to be commended. Regrettably the report has not generated a national conversation which begs the question, why. Perhaps there is a ‘financial illiteracy’ which plagues a population which can boast of billions spent on education in the post Independence period.

BU believes local media has an important developmental role to educate the public it serves. It is not too late for local media to collaborate with the Department of Management Studies at UWI, Cave Hill by using the Caribbean Stock Report as a jump-off point to achieve such an objective. In fact it fits well with the strategy of Starcom to roll-out a Caribbean radio station.

It is ironic the ‘noise’ which is created about freedom of movement as a key driver for regional integration. However there is a comparative silence  about the other drivers, e.g. building frameworks for regional trade and a financial market.

Go figure!

Small Open Economies Sailing On The Global Seas

…When America broke the dollar’s peg with gold in 1971, it ushered in a decline that continued until Paul Volcker re-established confidence in the currency in the early 1980s. As Joseph Schumpeter, the great Austrian economist, once wrote: “The monetary system of a people reflects everything that the nation wants, does, suffers, is.”…’

The Economist

There was a time when the world would not be as concerned about the gyrations taking place in many many of Europe’s once thriving economies. The interconnectivity of the world’s financial markets – driven by globalization –  has created a world economy. What happens in any of the economies of G7 or G20 for that matter has global implications. The saying, the more things change the more they remain the same holds. In the global economy a few continue to control the resources at the expense of the majority.

The EU is the common market which the Caribbean has held up as the model for integration. Isn’t it noteworthy that despite an EU parliament and a mature governance infrastructure EU governments are divided about how to manage the problems? Reminiscent of the actions of Jamaica and Trinidad which led to the disintegration of the West Indian Federation, France and Germany described as the two leading economies in Europe are expected to to accept a larger role in any bailout of the PIGS. True to man’s design to protect self first there has been push back from Merkel and Sarkozy to the idea of a wholesale bailout plan..

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Barbados Under Attack From Jamaican Drug Mules

The much publicized Myrie Affair occurred in April this year. By all accounts Barbados came out of the affair with a bloody nose if we are to judge by the comments made by all and sundry. Despite the vitriol spouted from both sides Barbadians, Jamaicans and onlookers are none the wiser what actually happened to Shanique Myrie when she attempted to cross the border of Barbados. She alleges that she was inappropriately searched by local officials, a charge which was denied. In the absence of substantive evidence who does one believe?

What was evident from the episode is that the Jamaican media and political directorate were in cahoots to ensure Jamaican Myrie’s story was propagated and propagandized. To be expected we had the so-called regionalists like Peter Wickham, Rickey Singh, David Commissiong et al who abandoned the need to be patriotic and gleefully jumped across to the other side of the debate.

BU does not intend to paper over any indiscretions made by Barbadian agencies if any did occur at all in the Myrie incident. Prime Minister Fruendel Stuart’s offer for Myrie to return to Barbados to facilitate meaningful investigation remains unaccepted after several months. The haste with which Jamaicans and others across the region used the opportunity to exposed a latent dislike for Barbados cannot be ignored. Some in local media and elsewhere would want Barbadians to ignore the obvious and not rock the CSME boat. It always has to be Barbados to turn the other cheek!

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CARIBBEAN STOCK REPORT 18 April to 22 April 2011

Compiled by the Department of Management Studies, UWI Cave Hill - Click image to read in PDF

The decision by the Department of Management Studies of the University of the West Indies to compile the Caribbean Stock Report is to be commended. Regrettably the report has not generated a national conversation which begs the question, why. Perhaps there is a  lack of ‘financial intelligence’ within the Barbados population.

BU believes local media has an important developmental role to educate the public it serves. It is not too late for local media to collaborate with the Department of Management Studies at UWI, Cave Hill by using the Caribbean Stock Report as a jump-off point to achieve such an objective. In fact it fits well with the strategy of Starcom to roll-out a Caribbean radio station.

It is ironic the ‘noise’ which is created about freedom of movement as a key driver for regional integration. However there is a comparative silence  about the other drivers, e.g. building frameworks for regional trade and a financial market.

Go figure!

The White Elephant That Is The Caribbean Court Of Justice Exposes The Failings Of Caribbean Academics And Politicians

Prime Minister of Jamaica, Bruce Golding (l) Professor Norman Girvan (r)

Barbadians continue to wait for the government of Barbados to revamp out-dated immigration laws to better protect a society which is the envy of the world. Almost one year has past since town hall meetings were held to discuss the green paper on immigration. That exercise exposed glaring loopholes in our existing legislation and inefficiency and corrupt behaviour by officers at the Immigration Department.

The late Prime Minister David Thompson at the final Town Hall meeting held at Solidarity House, made statements which would have suggested that by December 2010 the new immigration act should have been enacted. It is amusing to recall the haste the former government enacted sunset legislation to facilitate the hosting of CWC2007. It is equally humorous to recall the haste the incumbent government enacted the constituency council bill. The two examples should demonstrate to cynics if a government wants to enact legislation in a reasonable timeframe, it is possible even when our lumbering civil service is taken into consideration.

The recent revelation by Prime Minister Bruce Golding that he prefers the final court of appeal to be Jamaican has startled many in the Caricom community. He promised if Jamaica is ever to become a member of the Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ) his government will go the route of a referendum. Students of Caribbean history and others who would have observed the regional interactions of Jamaica and Trinidad in the last 10 years are not surprise by Jamaica’s latest move. A case of history repeating itself some might say. BU commentators warned in earlier blogs the folly of Barbados laying bare much of its family silver (prized companies) to appease regional integrationists. The CCJ is meant to be flaming symbol of regional integration. It has taken a few years for the Caricom community to absorb the shock of Trinidad and Tobago not joining the CCJ, made all the more embarrassing given the address of the court, now Jamaica has hinted its desire to tread and all too familiar path.

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Prime Minister David Thompson: Keep The Faith Friends And Families

Submitted by George C. Brathwaite

The Late Hon Prime Minister David Thompson

“Keep the faith.” This phrase is one of the final messages that I received from the Right Honourable Prime Minister David Thompson as he battled the invasive and debilitating effects of an illness, for which very rarely does it allow an extension of life beyond the very short term.

My fellow Barbadians and Caribbean people, as of 2.10 on the morning of 23 October, 2010, we came to a reality that was pre-empted by prayers and many supplications. It was about 9.30 in Newcastle upon Tyne when I received the dreaded news, but news that I had to verify nonetheless because of rumours previously advanced. The truth stared at me; I returned a forlorn and almost frozen gaze at my computer’s screen.

I knew there and then that, my generation of Barbadians had lost perhaps the most noticeable, affectionate, and dedicated person whose political sacrifices and passion for people would unfortunately not realise the ultimate dream: that is, to see a full revival of Barbadian society and to achieve sustained economic development.

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An Academic’s Take On The Recent Cabinet Reshuffle In Barbados

Dr Tennyson Joseph

For a little while now BU has been listening/following Dr. Tennyson Joseph public utterances with interest. He first came to our attention when he, along with another academic Dr. Norman Girvan, participated on a Voice of Barbados call-in show (Tell It Like It Is) program back in 2008. At that time he agreed with Girvan that Prime Minister David Thompson (who inherited the Chairmanship for CSME matters) was the main reason CSME preparation had stalled. The nonsense both academics were spewing during the show prompted current Minister of Finance Chris Sinckler to intervene, and in a style which he has called his own, he put dem in deh place.

In today’s press Joseph gives his analysis of the recent cabinet reshuffle by Prime Minister David Thompson. To be honest, the academically challenged BU household we have to admit struggled to follow his perspective on the issue. Unlike the goodly doctor BU sees a reshuffle as rearranging human resources to ensure optimal performance can be achieved by whoever is the shuffler. The prolong illness of the Prime Minister has also added the dimension of ensuring Thompson demonstrates his political astuteness by acknowledging both the economic and political dynamic at play.

It should be apparent even to Dr. Joseph, a political scientist at UWI, Cave Hill that the recent shuffle was to accommodate Chris Sinckler in the position of Finance. The Prime Minister using his best judgement would have been aware Estwick had to be shifted for obvious reasons. Two bulldogs can’t operate in the same space. He also would have been acutely aware of the pre-election period when Kellman and same Estwick would have canvassed hard for Mascoll. During that period Estwick was his usual fireball self and several statements were made in the public by Estwick which must still resonate with Thompson. Perhaps it explains why Thompson is not yet* prepared to allow Estwick to perform in the role as key lieutenant (finance minister). If Estwick doesn’t like it he can lump it and the PM being the political animal that he is knows that Estwick has very little political capital at this time. Bear in mind this is the same Estwick we were up in arms over a few months ago for his role in the now dormant gun incident. It was George Belle the veteran political scientist quoted in the media, also a resident at UWI, Cave Hill who described Estwick as a good politician but somewhat capricious at times.

Dr. Joseph’s references in his article his concern regarding leadership in the government and Deputy Prime Minister Stuart. Frankly he mesmerized BU with whatever point he is attempting to make, we quote – Of particular concern is the extent to which the reshuffle disrupts the apparent future leadership trajectory which was signalled with the past and present appointment of Freundel Stuart as the Deputy Prime Minister. Can a member of the BU family explain? Was Stuart ever thought to have been a serious contender for the PM’s role?

Here is the unvarnished exposition by Dr. Tennyson Joseph which was displayed in the Nation newspaper for all to read today:

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Decriminalizing Drugs Brings Its Challenges In A Common Market Arrangement – Just Ask The Dutch

Alice Smeets for The New York Times Many of the customers for legal drugs in Maastricht, the Netherlands, are young people, and most of them are foreigners - NYT

Two popular reasons are usually given to support decriminalizing the possession of the ‘softer drugs’ like marijuana and cannabis in Barbados. Many cite studies which support marijuana use because it is a vegetable matter, it is naturally received by the body and it has medicinal influence. In many countries the use of marijuana is prescribed for specific ailments. Did anyone watch Willie Nelson on Larry King recently? The guy admitted he has been puffing the weed daily for years.

The other reason is the extent to which people charged with possession of the softer drugs help to create congestion in the Court System and therefore negatively influence how justice is dispensed. It is no secret there is a criminal underworld which supports the drug trade and to abolish serious penalties of possession of the softer drugs would go a long way towards its dismantlement.

A BU family member recently read about the negative effect the 13 Coffee Shops (Marijuana/hashish can be purchased legally) in the Netherlands are having on that country. The Dutch cities where the Coffee Shops are located attract high traffic from the ‘drug tourists’ who become the target for criminal activity. Bear in mind freedom to travel cross-border under the EU arrangement makes it difficulty to ban travel. The matter is currently being tested in the European Court of Justice. A unique solution designed to protect Dutch youth has now been abused because of the open borders brought about by the EU arrangement. To quote the article ‘allowing one country’s security concerns to override the European Union’s guarantee of a unified and unfettered market for goods and services.’

The predicament the Dutch currently finds itself and specifically the 13 cities where the Coffee Shops are located represent learning for Barbados. To those who are proponents of decriminalizing soft drugs in a CSME arrangement – what of it? If Barbados were to go that route wouldn’t the drug tourists flood Barbados in the same way they do the Netherlands from the EU border countries?

The point the BU family member wants to share is to highlight how the Dutch experiment has gone bad. What can we learn from it? The article from the New York Times is copy and pasted below for easy access.

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What’s Wrong With Our Politicians?

Here is what Kammie Holder is writing elsewhere – Credit to Nation Newspaper 16/07/2010

Kammie Holder

Too many of our leaders seem allergic to eating humble pie and come over as  insular in their thinking. The CARICOM Single Market and Economy is under threat by narrow political ambition.

The Caribbean Court of Justice is still not accepted by Trinidad where it is headquartered. St Lucia does not give LIAT the financial support even though it heavily relies on intra-regional trade and tourism.

Guyana offers land to extra-regional countries cheaper than it offers it to fellow Caricom members. Where is the visionary leadership within the Caribbean? The new prime minister of Trinidad and Tobago, Kamla Persad-Bissessar, recently made what I considered to be the insular statement that “Trinidad will not be an ATM”.

Would you believe that Trinidad’s largest market for its goods has been within the Caricom for years? These Caricom  countries seem obligated to acquire Trinidadian goods, despite that cheaper alternatives can be had within Asia. Thus, it’s imperative the new prime minister of Trinidad tread cautiously and think before making such ready statements. Someone should remind Persad-Bissessar that elections are over and words can be misconstrued.

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Quality Of Bajan Life Must Not Be Compromised At The Altar Of CSME And Freedom Of Movement


The Immigration Debate has abated because of a combination of a stagnant economy, Barbadians loudly voicing dissatisfaction at the open door immigration policy practiced by the former government and a new government whose politics is built on a hybrid ideology of socialism cum populism.

In October 2009 the government disseminated a Green Paper on Immigration which sought to stimulate discussion on these issues which drive our immigration policies and which are critical to both national security and national development. It is anticipated that on conclusion of this extensive dialogue the White Paper will therefore reflect Government’s position on this important issue in addition to the views of the people.

True to its word the government of Barbados facilitated feedback from the public by staging town hall meetings, receiving letters and emails etc. Prime Minister David Thompson promised at the final town hall meeting in March 2010 that  in a matter of a few months, a white paper setting out a new immigration policy will be completed. The last time we checked about two weeks ago our parliament had not received any notification the White Paper on Immigration was ready for debate. It is interesting to note because of the illness of David Thompson Fruendel Stuart has been appointed acting Prime Prime Minister, he is on record declaring that Barbados is not ready to become the warehouse for unskilled workers in the Caribbean. He is now in a position to drive the amendment to the Immigration Law to give meat to his pronouncement.

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CARICOM Stuck In Low Gear

The financial crisis has led to fears of a meltdown in the eurozone, and to social unrest, particularly in Greece. Photograph: Sakis Mitrolidis/AFP/Getty Images

A perusal of the several articles which end up in the BU inbox always make for interesting reading. One of the benefits of blogging is the opportunity to be exposed to many issues which come from many sources at a never ending pace. A recent article which appeared in the UK Guardian titled In a financial crisis, what counts is what works supports the point (credit to:Looking Glass).  The following extract from the article has resonated with us all week:

Belief in Europe was just as messianic – and just as bonkers – as belief in the market. The idea was that you could take a dozen or more countries of wildly differing economic performance, with entirely disparate cultures, and bolt them harmoniously together. What’s more, you could do this without a common language to facilitate labour mobility or a common budget to transfer resources from rich countries to poor countries.

During the bubble years these fundamental design flaws were kept hidden, but they have been exposed by the crisis. Low interest rates allowed countries on the periphery to grow strongly for a while, covering up their steady loss of competitiveness against the country at Europe’s core, Germany. The financial crash resulted in a deep recession, soaring budget deficits and fears in the financial markets of debt default.

The only factor mentioned by the author of the article if the same observation were to be made about CARICOM/CSME is to accept we have a common language when compared to the EU.

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Something Is Happening Barbados, What Are We Going To Do About It?

Credit:Nation Newspaper

In the wake of a recent revelation regarding the growing number of gangs, Barbadians have reacted as a deer would facing the headlights of an oncoming vehicle. The current media coverage of the Christopher ‘Dudus’ Coke matter in Jamaica has exposed to Barbadians how gangs can take root to destroy a community. The jury is out on whether it will destroy Jamaica. Tivoli Gardens in West Kingston Jamaica has now attained the reputation as the most famous garrison community in the world. The Jamaicans appear to be crowding the news of late or so it seems.

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GB&GWU Invokes Section 31 Of The Act With The Trade Union Recognition & Certification Board

Submitted by Guyana Bauxite General Workers Union

The GB&GWU met today with representative the Trade Union Recognition and Certification Board at  the Board’s invitation to work out the modalities to conduct a poll “for continued certification of the bargaining unit.” The Union communicated to the Representatives that in principle it is not objecting to the activation of ‘Poll for continued certification’ Section 31 of the Recognition Act which says, “On an application made by a minimum of forty per cent of workers in a bargaining unit for which a union is certified the Board shall cause a poll to be taken to determine whether the union shall continue to be so certified.” But in order for such a process to proceed the Board and the parties involved are bound by universal principles, procedures, practices, and laws to adhere to due process. As such the Union is seeking clarification on:

  1. Has the Board investigated the Union’s complaint that was presented to it in writing on 12th January 2010?
  2. Has the Board in considering the request for de-recognition addressed the 4th  April 2008 Collective Labour Agreement signed between the Union and BCGI which prescribes how an employee becomes a member and how s/he ceases to be?
  3. Has the Board checked the rules of the Union and its records to verify whether the names that purportedly appeared on the list in its possession are dues paying members of the Union?
  4. Has the Board verified the signatures appended to the document in its possession and are the signatures workers that fall within the bargaining unit? In fact has there been any verification process executed to justify the Board’s conclusion that the signatures before it are true and correct?  NB- The Union too has a list of workers attesting to being coerced to sign the company’s prepared petition. A copy of that list was presented to the Chairman, Justice Prem Persaud, in confidence.
  5. Has the Board verified that the signatures were acquired without duress?

The Union is desirous of finding a solution to this issue but such solution cannot be addressed without due process and taking on Board all the charges presented. To this effect it has advised the Board’s representatives that legality must ultimately influence their action (s) and decisions and to this effect the Union shall participate in any poll at BCGI consistent with Section 31 of the Act, provided its questions are legitimately attended to since our position remains one that universal principles, conventions and laws must not be sacrificed to satisfy anyone for political expediency.

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What Does The Trinidad General Elections 2010 Portend For CARICOM?

Patrick Manning (l), PNM Kamla Persad-Bissessar, PP

In the North, we have the ongoing unrest in Jamaica which some say has the potential to derail its tourist oriented economy.  Some go further to explain that the chickens have come home to roost because of all the backroom deals done between the upright citizen and the criminal.

In the Southern Caribbean, Trinidad is hosting a General Election today. Running for office is the People’s National Movement (PNM) headed by Patrick Manning and challenging is the People’s Partnership (PP) which represents a coalition of the United National Congress (UNC), Congress of the People (COP), Tobago Organisation of the People (TOP) headed by Kamla Persaud-Bissessar.

Traditionally support for the two main parties has been along racial lines, Blacks for the PNM and Indo – Trinidadians for the UNC. This time around both the PNM and the PP will have to attract significant support from across racial segments to win the government. When the final result is known late tonight or early tomorrow,  it should make for interesting commentary. All reports scientific or not indicate it will be a close result.

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Regional Leaders Fighting To Define Role For Caricom In Haiti Relief Effort

Prime Minister Jean-Max Bellerive - tpetionnouvelgaye

A few months ago the Caribbean would have been embarrassed by the reportThe judge who’ll head the new British Supreme Court says Caribbean and other Commonwealth cases are taking up too much time of the Privy Council. The statement would have come against the background that only Guyana and Barbados have signed onto the Caribbean Court of Justice as  the final civil and criminal appellate court for the Caribbean.

In the aftermath of one of the worst natural tragedies in world history and for a second time our regional leaders have been the target of disrespect by the so called First World. A Caricom mission which included three Caricom Prime Ministers were declined permission to land in Haiti as part of a regional first response to the disaster in Haiti. Whether the reason was US authorities in charge of the airport were forced to prioritize air traffic because of limited apron space. Whether the other reason circulating that US authorities are trying to keep Venezuela and Cuban involvement out of the relief effort, it doesn’t matter – REFUSING THE CARICOM MISSION PERMISSSION TO LAND IN HAITI WAS UNACCEPTABLE.

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The Caricom Immigration Mess

Chairman of Caricom and President of Guyana Bharat Jagdeo

Barbados has received a lot of licks from many quarters on the immigration issue. Come January 1, 2010 the much discussed amnesty will expire and illegal immigrants residing in Barbados before January 1, 1998 who have not processed an application will be deported. A recent poll by CADRES indicated Barbadians across the political spectrum were supportive of government’s new immigration policy. The Auditor General of Barbados confirmed the fears of many Barbadians that the system of managing people flows in and out of Barbados is inefficient.

One of the disappointments since the Barbados government rolled out its Green Paper on immigration has been the lack of serious feedback by stakeholders in civil society and ordinary Barbadians. It was embarrassing to listen to a callin program on Voice of Barbados yesterday (27 December 2009) when leading voices in Barbados asked if they had read the Green Paper on immigration admitted they had not.

Immigration matters continue to occupy many countries around the world especially those countries labelled as magnet countries. In all the emotion which has been attached to the issue of Barbados immigration, many of the players in the debate admit a managed immigration policy is a must; BU’s position all along.

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Economists And The Central Bank Report

Submitted by Looking Glass


Click to read 6 month review 2009

Given the plethora of utterances flooding the various media, if our survival depends on the understanding of the socio-economic dynamics of the country then we are in deep trouble. It would appear that we understand little about the country and less about how the real world spins. We appear to be lacking in ideas, have a blurred image of reality and terribly short on philosophical contemplation. Here Cave Hill comes into view.

The influx of 40,000 plus foreign residents, mainly European, radically alters the socio-economic dynamics but we don’t even have an up-to-date manpower study, which means a) that analyses based on the old study will likely be way off the mark, b) social science and marketing grads will know little about the country in which they will likely work.

I raised this issue on a couple of occasions in the past and was told that it is a “teaching institution.” True but even private institutions engage in ongoing research. Except for a handful of ISER papers there is a woeful absence of even descriptive data. And much of our history appears to focus around race and colonialism. Chances are few know anything about Drax Hall, Locust Hall, Fortesque, Holborn, Holland Bay or Jew Street. It says a lot when Cricket Management takes precedence over the socio-economic and psychological dynamics of the country. Would the other cricketing nations send personnel to us for training? The money would have been better spent on a manpower study and books for the library.

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Our Starting Positions: Does Reflexivity Matter? A Response To Lindsay Holder's CBA

George Brathwaite,PhD Candidate (International Politics)

Submitted by George Brathwaite, PhD Candidate (International Politics)

Leading critical theorist in international relations, Robert Cox, believes that “theory is always for someone and for some purpose. All theories have a perspective. Perspectives derive from a position in time and space, specifically social and political time and space” (1981, 128). There is no doubt that the sentiment expressed by Cox is a challenge for academics to be open on their biases. This may be achieved through recourse to the application of reflexivity.

Reflexivity may be generally defined as an “awareness of the ways in which the researcher as an individual with a particular social identity and background has an impact on the research process” (Robson 2002 quoted in McGhee et al. 2007, 335). Knowledge provided through reflexivity is integral to explanation due to “limits of objectivity and the provisional nature of knowledge” (Alvesson et al. 2008, 481). Despite there is likelihood that personal values, attributes, and “our biases and perspectives influence interpretation” (Weston et al. 2001, 384) and can bolster insight, the imputing of a researcher into the process ascribes both limitations and advantages over outcomes and explanations (Finlay 2002, 215).

There are some researchers that are riveted in their antecedent outlook. These often propose that reflexivity presents narcissistic and solipsistic abundance into explanations. I do not share such a view and hence it is integral to my critique of LH’s article to alert readers to the fact that I write from the position of being a proud Barbadian and Caribbean citizen. I am inclined to be pro-integrationist, and I am keenly in favour of the fair and equal treatment of people.

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Who Were The Intellectual Authors Of The Fires That Destroyed The Ministries Of Housing And Finance?

Submitted by Rickford Burke, Former Special Assistant to the Leader of the PNCR

Submitted by Rickford Burke, Former Special Assistant to the Leader of the PNCR

The Tuesday, July 28, 2009 edition of both the Stabroek and Kaieteur Newspapers reported Guyana’s Minister of Home Affairs, Clement Rohee, to say that the fire which destroyed the Ministry of Health’s main building was well orchestrated by a ring of “intellectual authors, planners and actors”, all working within an established network.”

Mr. Rohee is more known for manifesting symptoms of “foot-in-mouth disease, than the display of intellectual prowess. His career highpoint came when he was Minister of Foreign Affairs. He was directed to cast a vote at the United Nations for the Commonwealth of Dominica- the sister Caricom country. But instead of voting for Dominica, Mr. Rohee ended up voting against his sister Caricom state and instead casted Guyana’s vote for the Spanish-speaking Dominican Republic – He had not known the difference between the Commonwealth of Dominica and the Dominican Republic.  The good news is that he is no longer the Minister of Foreign Affairs. The bad news is that he is now the Minister of Home Affairs and National Security

His challenges notwithstanding, even Mr. Rohee should know that the Guyanese nation is not oblivious to the blatant fact that the Ministries of Finance and Housing were mysteriously destroyed by fire simultaneously as calls were made for probes into alleged fraudulent activities at those agencies, and amidst serious scrutiny of questionable activities by their relevant political heads.

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Bharrat Jagdeo Throwing Stones At Barbados From His Glass House

Jamaican Harvey Anderson is thankful to his ‘Good Samaritan’ Philippa Pearson.

Jamaican Harvey Anderson is thankful to his ‘Good Samaritan’ Philippa Pearson/Kaieteur Newspaper.

The immigration matter has gone off the boil in recent days. Barbadians maybe waiting on Prime Minister David Thompson to provide an update on the effectiveness of the controversial amnesty scheduled to expire end of year.

One of the most disappointing aspects of the immigration debate sparked by the amnesty has been the vitriolic commentary delivered by Caribbean citizens who should know better. Among those we have academic Professor Norman Girvan who in an interview with a Jamaica radio station used the word ‘Gestapo’ to describe the action of the Barbados government when rounding up illegal immigrants. On the same program Videographer Annalee Davis agreed with the provocative term spewed by Girvan. Soon to follow was former Secretary General of the Commonwealth Shridath Ramphal  who went one step further by referring to the Barbados government actions towards illegal Caricom immigrants as using intimations of ethnic cleansing. He subsequently retreated when he explained he made the statement based on a Nation newspaper report. If we wanted to we could cite several other examples from Prime Minister Ralph Gonzales of St. Vincent, David Commisiong who has been exposed using a fork tongue, Head of the Caribbean Development Bank Compton Bourne a Guyanese tossed his two cents into the pot at the risk of compromising his position which convention regards to be independent, we had many other examples.

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How CARICOM Members Rank On The FP Failed States Index 2008





Antigua and Barbuda




The Bahamas *


























St. Kitts and Nevis

Saint Lucia

St. Vincent and the Grenadines









Trinidad and Tobago




CARICOM Associates



British Virgin Islands

Turks and Caicos Islands

Cayman Islands

* The Bahamas is a member of the Community but not the Common Market.

Orange – (60-80.9) Red – (90-120) Green – (30-59.9)

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A View From The Other Side

Submitted by Damian, Dominican BU family member

Caribbean_MAPWe definitely need more websites like these in the region and I’m appreciative but not at all surprised that the only one has its genesis deeply rooted in Barbados. I’m from Dominica. For example, and the difference between us is not only our physical environment, the geology of the land, but also the wiggle room that you possess to create such websites which promote ideas, this is what is lacking in this region: ideas. but ideas stems from freedom of thought and freedom of thought in any valuable sense includes freedom of speech and we have seen a trend and pattern especially in the smaller islands where new ideas are vehemently opposed mere by virtue of the fact that the human mind is naturally lazy and thus its rearrangement is a very laborious process.

The purpose of education is not to validate ignorance but to overcome it, and so we have a special responsibility and indeed an obligation to stand up for truth; the most important of our duties today in the region I think is to destroy all delusions which can never do more than mislead us, it is only then that we will surely become a powerful union and win the victory of reparations. “this is not going away; this will not go away.”

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Time To Ask The Hard Questions About CSME

Submitted as a comment by Ecoanalyst

csmeLet us stop making this a political football that aims at revising history and making the BLP blameless for the present situation…. It is not a question of political blame BLP vs. DLP, but rather the political parties reflecting the majority will of the people. We still have to decide whether CSME is good for Barbados, notwithstanding the statements of the politicians over the years .

The key issue is how rapid immigration will affect the voting patterns of the country if immigrants are allowed to vote. The party encouraging immigration stands to benefit if there is not a backlash by the majority. That fact may have lost the BLP many votes last year.

Last year 12% of the Barbados registered voters were immigrants. In Antigua’s last elections 24% of the voters were immigrants. For this reason the issue of immigrant voting rights and their effect on national elections is of paramount importance in both of these islands.

CSME as theorized means one country, one economic space, one currency; one Central Bank one economic policy; many countries with reduced control over economic and social policies. The eight OECS countries have the most developed structure in this regard… Maybe that is why Trinidad wants to join them.

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